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All-new Honda HR-V: Setting new benchmarks for interior comfort

ByDave Stopher

Jun 30, 2021
  • HR-V interior defined by key concepts of light and wind
  • Unique Air Diffusion System introduces innovative natural breeze in the cabin
  • Clever packaging delivers occupant space equivalent to larger models
  • Interior features and layout dedicated to delivering functionality and comfort

To reflect the values, meet the needs of modern consumers and create a desirable yet practical car, Honda engineers and designers conceived a new proposition for the interior of the next-generation hybrid HR-V. By cleverly incorporating Honda’s latest structural technologies and an interior design ethos centred on the concepts of light and wind, the all-new model achieves superior levels of interior comfort and space in the competitive compact B-SUV segment.

The feature that may have the greatest impact on the overall interior environment for passengers is also the most subtle. The unique Air Diffusion System introduces a new concept of air conditioning, with L-shaped vents positioned in the top corners of the dashboard delivering the restorative effects of a natural breeze to all occupants.  

“This idea was born from the concept of designing light and wind to improve passenger comfort,” said Honda Large Project Leader, Yoshitomo Ihashi. “We set out to eradicate as many areas of discomfort as possible by using nature as our inspiration. This new ventilation configuration resolves a disparity in traditional vent configurations, where passengers often feel uncomfortable with air flowing directly onto them. The result is a sense of airiness, with a more comfortable internal environment for all occupants.”

A dial is provided to switch seamlessly between 3 modes – the normal outlet with forward-directed air flow, the Air Diffusion System which creates a new gentle flow of air, and close which shuts off the air. When the Air Diffusion System is selected, it discreetly directs a stream of soft ‘breeze’ like air along the side windows, brushing the cheeks of the front passengers. The air also travels to the roof, creating a gentle vortex of air that does not impact directly on passengers. The heat transmitted through the side windows in summer is blocked by an air curtain that forms around front and rear seat passengers, as is the cold air during winter. The rear seat passengers will also benefit from air via the rear console outlet. The combination of these features ensures a consistent internal temperature is maintained, in all weather conditions.  

Creating space and comfort
The premise of the HR-V’s interior design centres on the interaction between the occupant and the car, to fully integrate it within their everyday lives. This starts from the moment they enter the car to the minute they exit. Each element of interaction with the new HR-V is designed around an optimal user experience first.

Every interior design feature within the cockpit structure is dedicated to achieving a sense of spaciousness and airiness that connects occupants to the outside world. This begins with windows that are designed to admit as much light as possible, with the excellent outward visibility further aided by flat line of the bonnet and clear sightlines that make it easy to accurately determine the vehicle’s position on the road. 

A fundamental consideration for interior comfort was the optimal positioning of the interior controls. The uncluttered, simple-to-use layout adds to the sense of calm, with the audio and ventilation controls and instrument panel positioned as close as possible to the driver’s field of vision. Instantly recognisable controls allow for safe and intuitive operation.

To maintain the balance of premium SUV styling and exceptional interior space, Honda engineers packaged all hybrid drivetrain components within the chassis and engine bay, and positioned the fuel tank beneath the front seats. The origins of this approach are found in Honda’s ‘Man-Maximum, Machine-Minimum’ (M/M) development principle, which is based on the belief that the purpose of technology and design is to serve the needs of the driver and passengers.

This allowed the newly-developed rear seats to be positioned 30mm further to the rear, also giving  an additional two degrees of recline compared to the previous generation HR-V. While head room is comparable to the class standard, the sedan-like seating position in the HR-V provides an additional 35mm legroom and shoulder space comparable to SUV’s a class above.

To further optimise comfort for front occupants, the all-new HR-V introduces body stabilising front seats featuring mat-structure support, replacing the previous spring set-up. This helps to prevent fatigue on long journeys and increase comfort in everyday use.

The all-new HR-V e:HEV will be available in Europe from late 2021. Customers can register their interest now on the Honda website: https://www.honda.co.uk/cars/new/hr-v-hybrid/hr-v-register-interest/register-interest.html